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by Albert Jay Nock
Download The Myth of a Guilty Nation fb2
Politics & Government
  • Author:
    Albert Jay Nock
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  • Publisher:
    Nabu Press (April 5, 2010)
  • Pages:
    122 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Politics & Government
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    1908 kb
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This book is made up of a series of articles originally published in the Freeman. But this has nothing whatever to do with the subject-matter of this volume.

This book is made up of a series of articles originally published in the Freeman. If the guilt of the German Government could be proved to be ten times greater than it was represented to be by the publicity-bureaux of the Allied Powers, the conclusion established in the following chapters would still remain.

This was Albert Jay Nock's first great anti-war book, a cause he backed his entire life as an essential component of a libertarian outlook. The book came out in 1922 and has been in very low circulation ever since. The narrative has incredible staying power. The burden of the book is to prove American war propaganda to be false. The purpose of the war was not to liberate Europe and the world from German imperialism and threats. Today most everyone knows and understands this, but this was not known in 1922.

He was an outspoken opponent of the New Deal, and served as a fundamental inspiration for the modern libertarian and conservative movements, cited as an influence by William F. Buckley Jr. He was one of the first Americans to self-identify as "libertarian".

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This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.

Before I began reading the book, I did not believe Germany was solely responsible for World War 1. Furthermore I agreed with Mr. Nock's view on the Treaty of Versailles. Both made me anticipate reading the book. Alas I was disappointed. Instead of a preponderance of facts, there were only a few taken far out of a world-view context. His quotes from Belgian diplomats are obviously biased toward Germany (and actually used in German propaganda when they raided the Belgian archives, yet did not provide the smoking gun which Germany insisted Belgium was colluding with France to violate her neutrality), there were no copies of Russian government briefs released by the newly installed Soviet government (a biased source but I wanted to read them) and the pacifistic prose vacillates between almost unilaterally blaming England for the war (as some sort of Grand scheme and industrial jealousy) and portraying Germany as a helpless handwringing maiden (which is insulting to her strong history) versus a multinational conspiracy, and contradicts itself in many places. The nuggets the author brings to prove his point that Germany alone was not culpable for the Great War are glossed over and are very frustrating for those of us who want more information (as is the complete lack of a bibliography).
The case could have been presented better to show that World War 1 was a result of Imperialistic ambitions for all parties concerned, including German actions in her own best interests (why was it okay for Germany to take over a large part of Europe but not okay for France to take over Morocco—both were given reparations), a balanced presentation of the history of Europe (which the author dismisses) such as Germany's 1911 recession, its policies to isolate France after her defeat in 1870-71 (Napoleon the Third stupidly declared war in 1870) and the rise of nationalism in the countries. Furthermore, I would like to know his take on why Germany attacked first, nullifying her mutual defense pact with Italy, given that his portrayal of Germany as the peacemaker throughout the book.
As it is, I have two tidbits to search for more information about (did Austria accept the terms prior to the outbreak of war and what exactly was the Russians' role in the Serbs' nationalist organization?) and the unclean feeling of having read a piece of propaganda.
Albert J. Nock (1870-1945) wrote succinct yet knowledgeable account about the origins of WW I. Nock's book undermines the lying propaganda the "allies" used as a provocation to start WW I. The book provided good documentation of the actual origins of that war, and the complicity of the French, Russians, and the British. Nock's examination of events in the Balkans (the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913) and North Africa revealed a convoluted diplomatic situation that even the "allies" did not know. In other words, the British did not know the complete details of the secret aims of the French and Russians. Yet, Lord Grey and British policy makers secretly allied themselves with the French even though the British did not know that the French secretly worked with the French against British interests in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The "allied" victors blundered at Versailled (1919) with a dictated "peace" and the War Guilt Clause-Article 231. The "allies," especially US negotiators were ignorant of European History and economics. These "experts" did not understand by ruining the German economy and creating fragment states that they were causing serious economic damage which was in part a reason for The Great Depression. This problem was given serious attention in Lord Keynes (1883-1946) great book titled THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF PEACE. The "allies," their press barons, and cowardly super patriots tried to suppress the efforts of honest historians by "the Orwellian Memory Hole," criminal prosecution, and other attempts to censorship.

Nock wrote about secret treaties between the French and British under the supervision of Britain's foreign minister Lord Grey (1906-1916) whose machinations were so secret that members of the British Parliament and even the British Cabinet did not know of these arrangements until AFTER the bloodshed started in 1914. Britain's Lord Fisher went so far as to suggest that the British and French start war against the Germans without a declaration of war. The lying about WW I went so far as to claim that the Potsdam Conference of July, 1914 NEVER HAPPENED.The lie was that the British tried peace efforts which was a lie.

Nock undermined the lie that the Germans were armed and wanted a war against "peaceful" people. This lie was undermined by facts and figures. The French, British, and especially the Russians far outspent the Germans for war The "allies" exponentially increased the size of their armies and navies. The facts and figures on pages 11-16 speak for themselves. The hope of the "allies" was that superior arms and man power would insure a quick victory over Germany and the Hapsburgs.

Nock examined the status of Belgium "neutrality" which the British used as a causa belli when the British declared war on Germans in August, 1914. The fact was that the British were only obligated to honor Belgium neutrality and not defend defend per the terms of 1831 and 1839. W.T Stead was clear about this in a monograph he wrote in a February 4th, and 5th editions,1887 of the PALL MALL GAZETTE. As early as 1912, the Belgium authorities armed themselves in cooperation with French and British to help the latter land troops on Belgium territory to attack German. In other words, the view that Belgium was neutral was blasted by these events.

One of the problems the British and French faced was how to tell contradictory lies as WW I lasted much longer than anyone could imagine. The lying and self righteous pontificating was so contradictory and stupid that censorship and smear tactics were employed to silence critics. Nock mentioned that M. Caillaux of France was smeared as pro German because of his honesty. The British, the French, and, later, the US authorities criminalized any honest view of the origins of WW I. As an aside, the Americans should have been ashamed to have lost their self respect.

Some of the phony phrases about the aims of the "allies" fell apart by reality.The war was advertised as ending militarism and standing armies which never happened. The myth of The War to End War was obviously exploded by tensions in Eastern Europe and Russia. The "allies" never realized the unintended consequences of WW I. Those who sounded the alarm were marginalized and criminally prosecuted. Honest and clear thinking were outlawed as Nock mentioned in this book.

Nock's book titled THE MYTH OF A GUILTY NATION is a solid terse book. Nock mentions other books and sources to make his case. Nock could have included THE RED ARCHIVES which was the Bolshevik response to their status as a pariah state. Nock could have cited Marchand's book titled LIVRE NOIRE dealing with Russian and French provocations. Yet, those who do not have time to read longer tomes can learn the actual origins of WW I.

James E. Egolf

June 5, 2016
Elegantly written indictment of the anti-German propaganda produced in Britain and America before and during WW1. This was Nock's first book, composed of essays he wrote in the original Freeman magazine. Even after all this time it is still a shocking exposure of the Allies' lies and distortions. Nock makes use of, and quotes from, contemporary Belgian State papers, which seriously undermine Allied claims. As always with Nock, the prose is a joy to read. As relevant today as when it was written. Nock wrote for what he called 'The Remnant'; the few people of all times who can think for themselves.
This book is a thorough, easy-to-understand analysis of how World War I began, and about how Woodrow Wilson made things much worse by getting the United States involved in it. It completely debunks the myth that Germany was solely at fault for causing World War I, and definitively shows that the Allied powers instigated the war for their own gain.

If you're interested in history--real history, not the watered-down pap that you've been fed in public schools--you'll want to read this book.
Germany was guilty of nothing. Democracy through secret agreements, before and during WWI, sent millions to their death. what a shame. A Great read.